Six UK cities, including Milton Keynes, Swindon and Aberdeen, grew faster than London in the last decade

Lynsey Barber
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Six cities grew faster than London (Source: Getty)

The economies of five southern cities and one northern centre grew faster than London over the last decade, a new report has found.

Think tank the Centre for Cities found Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Swindon, Luton, Cambridge and Aberdeen grew faster than London over the last 10 years on three key measures: population, number of new businesses and number of new jobs.

The London population was the sixth fastest growing of any city in the UK over the last 10 years, growing by 12.6 per cent, in a list dominated by a boom in population in locations in the south.

While London still accounts for largest city population in the UK, Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Swindon experienced growth of 16.5 per cent, 15.2 per cent and 14.8 per cent respectively, more than double the national average over the last decade.

London had the second highest rate of business growth of any city, beaten by Aberdeen. The number of businesses in the Scottish city has grown by 40.6 per cent since 2004, ahead of London, where the number of businesses grew by 32 per cent.

London had the highest business startup rate of any UK city between 2012 and 2013, when the number of startups across all UK cities increased by 30 per cent. In 2013 every single city in the UK had more businesses opened than closed for the first time since the financial crisis hit in 2007.

London’s southern neighbour Milton Keynes also beat the capital in terms of job growth, edging ahead with 18 per cent, compared with London’s 17 per cent over the last decade. A further breakdown of job growth figures shows London led the way on job growth in the private sector, with a rise of 18 per cent, followed by a 15 per cent uplift in Milton Keynes.

The report highlighted a dramatic divide between overall economic growth in northern cities and centres in the south.

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